V. - stYe [zero122v]
- verify lunacy
- you're errors before
- waxing stupor
- you're debris
- endure beasts
- rescure urgent
- puffed snails
- flying sacred
- slight tables
*Titles listed do not necessarily correspond to those on this album.
(I Am Cancer) homemade electronics and computer beats, cut and paste
bonanza. sound collage tipple and drones. an end of the evening party.
the wind knocked the power out. drumming on the groucho kit. crammed
full for quality assurance. beware i think the bricks are falling down.
seventy three stories i think this disc just made a pass at me! - Chris
(Ampersand Etcetera 2002_10) In 2001_19 we reviewed
a number of albums by Jeff Surak in a variety of groups, including V.
which is his work with James Guggino (with some guitar from Carl Merson).
Here they create a mixed texture using drums (Guggino) homemades and
hurdy gurdy (Surak) and both on noises (there seems to be some violin/viola
in here too). The first half or so of the album is shortish excursions
(generally less than 6 minutes). 'Verify lunacy' has a rhythmic buzz
crunch and jumpy violin cd, with drums coming in at the end. The percussion
dominates the start of 'You've errors before' where it is mixed clattering
and drumming: there are long sustained tones over which evolve into
very celloish playing, with guitar descends added at the latter parts.
The hurdy gurdy loops incessantly through 'Hjungle' with a noise and
crackle, squeaks as well, which are finely modulated and developed through
the piece. 'Waxing stupor' pairs the string notes and percussion, a
bit of bass, almost delicate, manipulated a touch. There is almost a
continuation into 'You're debris' of the percussion with a slowed string
section, which becomes quite scratchy and then forceful, with a twanging
sound reverberating through occasionally. Noise builds in 'Endure beasts'
from a deep rumble, edgy sscratching and metallic percussion and tones.
The first of two extended tracks, ' Rescure urgent' is an extended workout
which is almost classically improv and works very nicely, while 'Puffed
snails' moves through a number of stages (and possibly has parts
we are in another 10 tracks/12 titles situation I will ignore
titles 11 and 12) crackling with music playing behind, the pulsing percussive
(still crackly), a subtle almost ambient cycling tone into a soft drone
ringing in a buzz to a brief noisy conclusion. Finally clattering and
sustained notes that develop a lyricism ('Flying scared') before a distorted
pulsing piece of electronica. All in all a varied and intense album
which is challenging but worth the effort as it comfortably straddles
between the melodic and electro-noise, maintaining its gentler footing.
- Jeremy Keens
(Blastitude no. 15) Puts their names on the cover (Jeff
Surak and James Guggino) like it's some improvised jazz release but
c'mon, they're called V. (nothing wrong with that for a band name) and
they aren't improv, they're a no wave/noise duo, refreshingly minimalist
too. Actually, maybe they're sorta "drone" -- they are instrumental
-- but there's something edgier about it. Some of it could pass for
Dome or some of the mellower loop-based moments from Nautical Almanac
or Panicsville. In fact, the sound of freely improvised tail-chasing
honk-jazz really raises its exhausted head on here, which makes it one
of my favorite Public Eyesore releases for a while, since the Old Bombs/Wolf
Eyes split and that hellish Yoko Sato guitar album. How's the length?
Way too f********ing long. Did we really want V. to put out a triple
LP? At least the music is really good. - Matt Silcock
(Dead Angel no. 53) More strangeness, although unlike
much of the PE catalog, this does not appear to be aligned with free-jazz...
rather, it's a series of experiments in minimalist scrunch-noise (or
something like that). The band (whose name i may have wrong -- the cover
makes it kind of hard to tell) is actually two jokers, Jeff Surak and
James Guggino, doing perverse things with homemade gadgets, random percussion,
a hurdy-gurdy, and occasionally guitar and bass. There are some nice,
shuddering bass drones and high-pitched wailing on "you're errors
before," what sounds like cds skipping (and much other sonic effluvia)
on "hjungle," and crunched-up noises plus random clattering
and percussion on "endure beasts." The hurdy-gurdy makes its
grand appearance (i think) on the heavily-reverbed "rescure urgent"
-- it sounds like a string section being disemboweled -- while "puffed
snails" returns to the clatter 'n drone strategy. The noisiest,
most grinding tracks are "verify lunacy" and "is-not,"
both of which will give you a headache if you listen to them too loud....
Actually, comparing the track listing to the actual number of tracks
on the cd reveals that they don't match, so who knows if any of these
titles match up accurately with the sounds. It matters not; if you're
down with the noisier, more arcane side of PE's catalog (Fukktron, Hair
& Nails, etc.), then this will be like manna to your swollen ears.
(Aural Innovations no. 23) The music covers a range
of sound art and noise constructions. We hear droning waves alongside
guitar and bass lines against Guggino's drumming; minimal pulsating
and whining radio wave electronic patterns; dark and somewhat trippy
atmospherics; free-improv noise and percussion workouts that employ
interesting string scratching techniques; engine room industrial patterns,
and oodles of UFO efx. Lots of good ideas here though it didn't consistently
hold my attention. My favorite track is the very cool 17 minute avant
cosmic space excursion with Rock & Jazz elements provided by Guggino's
drumming. It's loaded with drifting electronic textures and dissonant
space guitar. But along with the drumming it makes for a very interesting
blend of hed music and free-improv, with some decent guitar and percussion
work alongside continually shifting electronic patterns and alien efx.
Overall I'd say it's the drumming and heavy duty alien trips that accounted
for the highlight moments of this set. - Jerry Kranitz
(Bananafish no. 17) Lovers of music might leech more
nutrients than I do from V's interfaces of free improv and noises on
the 'stYe CDR (Public Eyesore), but when Jeff Surak and James Guggino
stick to noise, homemades, hurdy gurdy, and noise, I find their purely
electronic tunes quite filling. Anxious drones that twitter with Mellotronic
compulsion gestures are hacksawed into weakened states until the duo
anesthetizes the pieces. The excellent five-part, fourteen-minute suite
"Puffed Snails" yo-yos fuzzed ricochets and spoor bombs through
deadpan grunt atmospheres and elongated slime trails. The crackles of
"Hjungle" are barely kept together in a tense electronic spritz
that threatens to atomize completely. For the die-cut improv of "Endure
Beasts," pachinko parlor snarls navigate between flexing claws
popping up through holes in graphite mesh floor and rusty screech doilies
zipping out of air vents, while the synchronized distorto-bloontt of
"Is-Not" gyrates like oblivion's fuck buddy. - S. Glass
(Eld Rich Palmer no. 11) It took me some time to digest
V.'s "stYe". When compared to "drone-unease" or
"'Awrkid" it seems quite a tough pill. The music streams freely,
meandering between semi-melodies and unelectrically generated (at least
so it seems to my inexpert ears) noise. In action are: hurdy-gurdy,
homemades, drums, bass, guitar, noises. If my memory serves me well,
I haven't experienced any fears of confined spaces, so it's not easy
for me to assess the accurateness of the term "claustrophobic free
music" that its authors stick to it themselves, but there is much
of uneasiness, displeasure and anxiety. Upon consulting my excessively
vivid imagination (should I seek some professional treatment in this
matter?) I can say that the notice from the cover matches the musical
contents, for the most of this stuff reminds of visiting at night some
huge, unoccupied and almost collapsed building. But there are also some
more structured tracks here, in which looped electronic noises, glitches,
and maltreated tunes appear. Intriguing, though demanding. Recommended.
- Przemyslaw Chojnacki
(Aiding & Abetting no. 234) In which James Guggino
and Jeff Surak play lots of games with noise. There are odes to distortion,
white noise, found sound and just about every other sort of strange
bit of recording you might think of in a year or two. What's most impressive
is that these guys don't repeat themselves. Every piece is just as weird
as the others in its own special way. - Jon Worley
(Neozine) Wasnt too sure from the cover, so I
hope the name and title are correct. Its a wacky, wild and fun
carnival ride in the clown car that is noise/experimental recording.
This is mostly minimalist, with single layers of reverberation, cycling,
and hummmmms invaded by squeals and screeches, and occasionally stuff
that sounds like real instruments. No complaints. I found it kind of
upbeat and interesting. If the sounds are pleasant, then it follows
that the mood they induce is also pleasant. Its pretty damn close to
musical. Kooky! Annoying, in that cute /baby crying sort of way. - C.H.C.